Money Supply

Definition of 'Money Supply'


The entire stock of currency and other liquid instruments in a country's economy as of a particular time. The money supply can include cash, coins and balances held in checking and savings accounts. Economists analyze the money supply and develop policies revolving around it through controlling interest rates and increasing or decreasing the amount of money flowing in the economy. Money supply data is collected, recorded and published periodically, typically by the country's government or central bank. Public and private sector analysis is performed because of the money supply's possible impacts on price level, inflation and the business cycle. In the United States, the Federal Reserve policy is the most important deciding factor in the money supply.

Also called money stock.

Investopedia explains 'Money Supply'


The various types of money in the money supply are generally classified as "M"s such as M0, M1, M2 and M3, according to the type and size of the account in which the instrument is kept. Not all of the classifications are widely used, and each country may use different classifications. M0 and M1, for example, are also called narrow money and include coins and notes that are in circulation and other money equivalents that can be converted easily to cash. M2 included M1 and, in addition, short-term time deposits in banks and certain money market funds.

An increase in the supply of money typically lowers interest rates, which in turns generates more investment and puts more money in the hands of consumers, thereby stimulating spending. Businesses respond by ordering more raw materials and increasing production. The increased business activity raises the demand for labor. The opposite can occur if the money supply falls or when its growth rate declines.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
  2. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  3. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
  4. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
  5. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will be executed at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy (or sell) at the limit price or better.
  6. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
Trading Center